A few years ago I was given a Garland electric windowsill propagator for Christmas and from that point on, I have grown all my vegetables from seed. Am so pleased with it as within a few days, the seeds germinate. Takes away all the worry about whether they will germinate or not.
After a blog-searching expedition a few weeks ago, I came across a gardening blog and read a post from a member who had already sown their tomatoes, in an unheated greenhouse.
Not wanting to be left behind, last Friday I sowed some of my tomato seeds. Gardeners’ Delight, a cherry tomato, which is an old favourite, very prolific and beautifully sweet. Ailsa Craig, a sweet, medium-sized tomato that I have never grown before and …. marigolds.
The marigolds germinated very quickly – I could see them coming through on Sunday. The tomatoes were showing on Tuesday. Brilliant, eh?!! My other tomato seeds, an Italian beefsteak tomato, will be sown in a few weeks time.
The novice veg grower may well be asking why the marigolds? Well, several years ago my greenhouse was plagued with greenfly, the seedling’s greatest enemy! They suck sap and the seedling will die unless drastic action is taken. It was devastating. I try to grow my crops without using chemicals, so I had to douse everything with soapy (Fairy Liquid will do) water which should kill the little perishers. Remember to search on the underside of the leaves though, as that is where they love to congregate.
Hearing about my greenfly problems a colleague recommended growing marigolds among the tomatoes in the greenhouse. I’ve done this ever since, and haven’t seen a single greenfly, so it obviously works.
Since sowing my tomatoes I have found my notebook from last year and I noticed that I sowed them on the 7th March ! Oh dear, will just have to pray that the freezing nights are a thing of the past. They say that seedlings will survive at 10 degrees and above. Oer, think I have been a bit premature. Might have to sow some more in March, never mind.
Next job? Clear out all the geraniums from the greenhouse, into the spare stable and give the inside of the greenhouse a good clean …. then prick out and pot on the seedlings.